If you want to find opportunity, take a look around the world. Based on your responses to our survey, designers here in the U.S. are cautiously optimistic about the future of the profession. But elsewhere, times are booming.
"Engineers build the world's infrastructure and comforts," says N.K. Vijaykumar, Director-Technical at Intelligent Micro System Pvt. Ltd. in Guindy, Chennai, India. "Demand for engineers is very high, especially in developing countries, and the potential for engineers is almost unlimited."
"The salary has increased significantly within five years due to economy development and higher expectations from the company toward new graduates and engineers," notes Rahmat Sanudin, who works at Kolej Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. "It is a growing profession, dynamic. The technology keeps on changing, and the opportunity for improvement is always there."
While companies in the U.S. still are reeling from the effects of the bust, some hope is on the horizon. "The bubble bursting has depressed salaries and hiring, and although the industry is recovering, it has not yet reached the levels of five years ago," says David Stewart, CEO of CriticalBlue. "Employers are now more cautious about expanding."
"With the exception of the telecom bubble of the late 90s, engineering demand growth appears to be maintaining a steady, albeit slow, pace," says Tom Kerr, Director of Applied Research at Vocollect Inc. "There is competition for good talent in the marketplace."
So the job market right now may be a tough nut to crack, but opportunities seem to be there. They just require a little talent, hustle, and maybe travel.